Hellmuth donates $20k to One Drop

Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth was recently hanging out in Las Vegas to film the "High Stakes Cash Game" installment of NBC's Poker After Dark. There's no word yet on how he did on the show, but he did lighten his wallet in the name of charity while there.

Joining him for the show were Tom Dwan, Allen Cunningham, Mike Baxter and Guy Laliberté. The "High Stakes" version of Poker After Dark had a buy-in of $100,000 to $250,000 with as many rebuys as players wanted, and Laliberté had pledged to give all his profits to his charity, One Drop.

Phil Hellmuth must have been inspired by Laliberté's generosity, because he ended up donating what he thought was the last $20,000 in cash that he had in Las Vegas to the One Drop Foundation as well.

He tells the story in his blog this week. He was on the way to the Bellagio for Day 1 of the World Poker Tour World Championship when he realized that he had $56,000 in cash and that it might be all he had in town with him.

He earmarked $36,000 of that for Jack McClelland, tournament director, because he was staking someone. With just $20,000 left, Hellmuth decided to empty out his money clip and give the rest to Laliberté for the One Drop Foundation.

"There is power in emptying the clip, especially if you're giving your last $20,000 in cash to Guy Laliberté's One Drop charity," Hellmuth writes.

The One Drop Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by the Cirque du Soleil creator to fight poverty worldwide by ensuring that everyone across the planet has access to water.

All it took was the mention of giving the money to the charity and Hellmuth's wife handed that last $10,000 in cash that Hellmuth was carrying on him to Laliberté.

"I felt like I could use all of my power, whatever that means, if I gave more to charity," Hellmuth said.

Of course, Hellmuth didn't realize at the time that he had another $30,000 at the Bellagio cage or that he had a white bag with $40,000 in cash he'd forgotten had as well.

Even his wife laughed at him over that, and Hellmuth wrote that she said, "Only a high-stakes poker player would find $40,000 in cash that he didn't know that he had!"

So the good news is that Phil Hellmuth wasn't sans cash during his latest trip to Vegas, and the One Drop Foundation has $20,000 more to work with in its quest to end world poverty.

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